Tonight I spent a lovely few hours with the Wired 2012 team in a conference eve drinks jolly arranged to prepare us all for their annual extravaganza – with champagne. It was very lovely but I was quite exhausted when I arrived and left after less time than I had anticipated. This left me with an hour or so of *free time* and a choice. I could either go straight home, or find some people to play with. It being 8pm when I made the decision to leave, everyone I knew was pretty much sorted with their evenings and I was not in the mood to gatecrash. Home was all sorted , the children with their Dad, I had time…
I went to Carluccios on Waterloo station. I sat there and had supper, a glass of wine, read my kindle, texted a few people I had neglected mercilessly, roamed my emails. I did not feel anything other than completely happy in the moment. I was not pestered – it was heaven.
Whilst watching the people scurrying about the station, me on a usual day, I thought – the Silent Club, that is what we need – a club for people who need peace from networking, busy people who just really need some time out but perhaps an excuse to do so.
I started thinking about what this might take.
We need a website: no we don’t it is a solitary thing something only we need enjoy individually
We need money: no we don’t, we need a reason
We need a plan: no we don’t, this is not about networking, or money, or social media
We need something though: yes
Our lives are all about digital, certainly the lot I hang about with. This is offline, non-revenue-generating peace – but it needs to be shared, silently.
How silent could we get?
This is the idea:
1. Accidentally or on purpose find an hour
2. Go to somewhere nice and busy, like a station with a lovely restaurant, and have a meal – as many courses as you like
3. Be silent and enjoy the time in whatever way you are most comfortable
After you have done this, or even during if it is not too tedious, write a letter. This can be about anything you experienced or thought of, streams of consciousness, humbling thoughts, cunning plans, people, whatever – no matter how long or short. Send this letter to me. I have set up a British Monomark post office box and arranged for weekly deliveries. The address is:
BM Box 4443
I will open and photograph the letters and post them on Tumblr then shred the letters. You can either identify yourself or not, no matter, this is not about networking. Of course some of you may not want to have your letter put online, thats fine – maybe you just need to send it in order to allow yourself that hour, I will shred those and not publish them.
There will be no twitter feed. No Facebook page. Just a weekly blog of photographs of any letters sent.
Maybe in a few years we will have a Silent Club party, who knows – but I will not notify you by email, there is no email database. I will write an invitation probably and stick it on the blog with all the others!
By writing and physically sending the letters there is an action and a conclusion, it is a methodical but very simple thing to do that can be calming in itself. A simple achievement.
This is a personal thing, personal to all of you. There is no secret handshake – just some peace and an excuse.
Update: the Tumblr blog is here http://thesilentclub.tumblr.com/